Back to Baby skincare

Newborn skin

Your newborn baby’s skin is different to your own skin, and needs extra special care. Here you will learn why your baby’s skin is so important, how to take the best care of it, and also some common conditions to look out for.

About Baby Skin

Your newborn's skin is not just amazingly soft, it is also a unique and essential shield that offers protection from the outside world. It plays an important role in maintaining health, and in defending against irritants, toxins and infections. Skin also regulates your baby's internal temperature, and is a tool for exploring the world through touch.
Baby’s skin is different to adult skin and needs extra special care throughout the first years of life. Compared to an adult’s skin, a baby’s skin:

  • Is about 10 times thinner
  • Has a greater tendency to dryness
  • Is more prone to allergies and irritation
  • Absorbs more water, but loses it faster

For these reasons, it’s important that mild and gentle products, developed especially for babies, are used when caring for your little one’s skin.
Learn more about caring for baby skin

Caring for baby skin

Given how different baby skin is to adult skin, it’s important to use products which have been specifically formulated for use on delicate baby skin.

We have been bringing our baby care expertise to mums across the world for over 100 years, with a product range trusted to provide mild & gentle care for delicate baby skin. We take safety very seriously, which is why each and every product undergoes rigorous testing for gentleness – as symbolised by the NO MORE TEARS® and CLINICALLY PROVEN MILDNESS® certification.

For advice on caring for your baby’s skin, watch our how to do: baby skincare video

Read about common skincare conditions your baby may experience

Common Conditions

There are several common skincare conditions your baby might experience, and in most cases they are completely harmless. Please click the links below to read about some of the most common conditions, but always bear in mind that if you do have any worries or concerns, it’s best to speak to your Doctor, Midwife or health care provider.

Cradle cap
Nappy rash
Eczema & dry skin
Other ways to protect baby skin

Cradle Cap

Of all the things you envisioned while preparing for your baby, you probably didn't imagine dandruff-like flakes covering her scalp. But your newborn may indeed have scaly patches on her scalp and eyebrows. It's called cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis, and is very common in young infants. It usually begins in the first weeks of life and slowly disappears over the next several weeks or months. Most cases of cradle cap clear up by the time your baby is between eight to 12 months old.

Although it may be tempting to do so, do not attempt to pick off the patches with your fingernails! One way to gently remove the symptoms of cradle cap is to soften it first by massaging a baby oil, such as JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil into her hair and scalp. Leave the oil on for a few minutes to help to loosen the crusty patches. Then use a fine-toothed comb and clean your baby's scalp with a mild, gentle cleanser that will not sting her eyes. You can use a mild cleanser like JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo. Add a little to a washcloth and use a gentle, circular motion to remove the flakes and oil from your baby's head. Although cradle cap can be unsightly at times, it is harmless. However, if you have any questions, or if cradle cap thickens, becomes red and irritated, or spreads to other areas of your baby's body (beyond her scalp or eyebrows), call your Midwife or Doctor.

Remember to be extra gentle when massaging or washing around the fontanels, or soft spots, on your baby's head.

Read more about cradle cap and its treatment here

Nappy Rash

Many babies experience nappy rash at some point. For information on nappy rash care & protection, visit our nappy care guide

Eczema & Dry Skin

Eczema & dry skin are fairly common in babies. Learn more about the condition here


You may also notice during the first few days that your newborn's skin peels slightly – especially on the palms of her hands, soles of her feet, and her ankles. This is perfectly normal, especially if your baby was born past her due date. After a few days the peeling will go away. Just remember to apply a moisturiser made for babies to help maintain her soft skin.

Other Ways to Protect Baby Skin

You can also keep your baby's skin protected by dressing her in loose-fitting clothing, to prevent chafing. Protect your baby's skin from all direct sun exposure with a hat and other forms of shade. As your baby grows, her skin will adapt and grow with her. With your care and attention, you play an important role in keeping your infant, and your infant's skin, healthy. And whether you're bathing your baby's skin or smoothing on a moisturiser, you're doing more than helping to keep her skin healthy. With your gentle hand, you're also forming a special bond with your infant through the power of your touch.